This Wednesday, Tyra Banks will for once and for all let us know what “frenemies” are! When I first heard this term a few years ago I was confused and thought it was way too much of an oxymoron to really work. It had been tossed around in Sex in the City, in the New Radicals song, “You Get What You Give”, and in the popular movie about sardonic and witty high schoolers with a spiteful edge in Mean Girls. Still, what is a “frenemy”?
In layman’s terms, a frenemy is a friend who is a borderline enemy. You may bicker constantly, you often compete for the same friends, and you love the same attention. The minute one of you goes out and gets something, whether it’s a new bra, a new cell phone, a new hair color, or even a boyfriend, the other gets the same thing – only better!
In fact I’m sure you’ve seen friends make comments about their “friends” like, “I hate her”, “I can’t trust her”, and “She’s trying to be just like me”, but they still can’t cut ties with them. Wow, that really takes the cliché saying, “keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer” to heart!
As females we have to admit sometimes we can be a bit competitive, but do you really think you have frenemies in your life? Someone whose successes mean you have to automatically outdo her? Or whose failures result in your uprisings? Erica Kaplan, a 22 year-old college student says she deals with friends all the time who want to compete. "I work full time, go to school full time and have a second job, and a lot of people try to top me. They envy me because I keep it all together."
According to Tyra Banks' Wednesday guests, legendary female empowerment rap duo, Salt-N-Pepa, their friendship has been a series of ups and downs making the term frenemy a perfect term to describe their often turbulent relationship. Salt-N-Pepa who broke through in the late 1980s are known for music hits like “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “Push It” and “Shoop,” claim that fame is what tore their friendship apart. Now back with their own reality show on VH1, the two are trying to rebuild their friendship through patching up their business and personal relationships together.
While the term frenemy has entered our society giving us a new way to label friends who are not so friendly, what about the psychological aspect of it? Would it be safe to say if you have a friend who you are constantly trying to beat that you might have self-esteem issues?
More importantly, if you both are going back and forth than maybe you should not be friends! A little competition is normal because sometimes we need a boost to realize we need to step it up. However, inspiration should be a normal part of any real friendship, NOT competition. It’s still an interesting, mysterious topic to talk about. Why do we remain friends with people who are one step away from becoming our mortal enemy?
Tune into the Tyra Banks Show on CW this Wednesday to find out more. Check your local listings for times and networks for when the show will be aired.